10 Losties We Love: A look back at our favorite “Lost” characters

In what could easily be billed as the biggest television event of the decade, ABC’s “Lost” will shut the hatch door on six years of mind-bending mystery when it caps off its incredible run with a two-and-a-half hour series finale on May 23. When it debuted back in 2004, no one could have anticipated that J.J. Abrams’ island drama would depend so much on its cool plot devices and mysteries, but the show remains first and foremost about the characters. With so many great personalities populating the “Lost” universe, it’s difficult to settle on a list of the absolute best, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t try. The Bullz-Eye staff recently sat down to compile a list of our personal favorites, as well as a few we didn’t like so much. Check out some samples below:

James “Sawyer” Ford

He’s a con-man, a killer, and can’t remember anyone’s name to save his life, but for some reason, we just can’t help having a fondness for the man we’ve come to know as Sawyer. Admittedly, part of it has to do with all the great nicknames he’s come up with for his fellow survivors – just the monikers he’s saddled Hurley with (Pillsbury, Rerun, Grape Ape, Mongo, Jabba, Deep Dish to cite a few) are enough to make him our hero – but it’s mostly because of the fact that, for all of the flashbacks we’ve seen on “Lost,” few have found us changing our tune about a character quite as much as his. We learned that, at the ripe old age of eight, his parents were conned so profoundly by a man using the alias of Tom Sawyer that his father killed his mother, then himself, damaging the boy’s psyche so much that he took on the con man’s last name and profession. Sawyer was a far cry from a good man before taking Oceanic Flight 815, and he wasn’t all that nice a guy immediately thereafter, either (remember the way he hoarded the whiskey and porn that he’d found in the wreckage?), but thanks to his relationships with Kate and Juliet, along with various sacrifices he’s made over the course of six seasons, we’ve seen that there really is a good heart beating beneath that snippy, cynical exterior.

Michael Dawson

Unlike many of his fellow castaways, Michael Dawson’s departure from the show didn’t result in a gasp, but a sigh of relief. By far one of the most annoying characters to ever wash up on the island, Michael also had one of the least interesting back stories of the original group. Though many parents might applaud his protective instincts (particularly considering he didn’t have much of a relationship with Walt prior to the crash), that doesn’t change the fact that he killed two innocents (Ana Lucia and Libby) and then backstabbed four others simply so that he could get himself and his son off the island. But just when it looked like we were free for good of his incessant whining, Michael returned by way of the freighter (now under the orders of Ben Linus, who else?) with the hope of redeeming himself by saving his fellow Losties from impending danger. His sacrificial suicide didn’t quite have the intended effect, however, as no one really cared what happened to him by that point. In the end, he was relegated to a ghostly whisper in the island’s jungle, and considering just how forgettable his character was, it was exactly what he deserved.

Be sure to read the complete feature over at Bullz-Eye, and then browse additional content by visiting our new Lost Fan Hub for interviews, DVD reviews, and much more.

  

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Lost 5.14 – The Variable

It’s not very often that we welcome back a character the same night we say farewell, but if the end of tonight’s episode is to be believed, Daniel Faraday is no more. To which I say, fuck you Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. Killing Charlie was bad enough, but if this death sticks, I’m going to be pretty pissed. Okay, maybe not. It’s kind of hard to stay mad at you when you continue to deliver top-notch episodes like this, but that doesn’t mean I’m not upset. Nevertheless, just like Charlie’s last few episodes at the end of Season Three, Faraday’s last hurrah was one for the ages.

First, we find out that Eloise is Faraday’s mother, and then we find out that Widmore is his father, but honestly, anyone that didn’t see that one coming hasn’t been paying attention these last few years. Still, Faraday’s connection to the island certainly has to be the most interesting of all the characters, and the fact that Eloise willingly sent her son back knowing exactly what was going to happen takes serious guts. Of course, if the Others were able to save Ben Linus from a gunshot wound, what’s to say they won’t be able to do the same for Faraday? It seems plausible, and wouldn’t it explain Faraday’s memory loss in the future/present?

Speaking of which, Faraday’s flashbacks weren’t quite as revelatory as some might have hoped, but it was fun to revisit key moments (like his reaction to the Oceanic 815 recovery footage) knowing more about his journey after those events. The same goes for the opening scene from the season premiere, where we saw Faraday passing Marvin Candle/Dr. Chang in the Swan station, but nothing more. Now we know that Faraday not only spoke with Candle about evacuating the island, but also broke several of his own time travel rules by telling Candle that he’s from the future and that Miles is his son. Candle didn’t seem to buy into either claim, but how could he not? The only Chinese guy on the island with the name Miles? Yeah, it seems like a pretty airtight argument to me too.

Whatever Faraday was expecting Candle to do, he seemed to believe that he was going to do it after their little talk, and let’s hope that he does, because Faraday’s ultimate plan is explosive to say the least. Some of the commenters on this blog were insistent that ‘ol Jughead would rear its head again in the future and, well, they were right. Personally, I completely forgot about the hydrogen bomb between all the time jumping during the middle of the season, but once Faraday mentioned blowing up the Swan’s mysterious power source using the bomb, it suddenly made a lot of sense. Of course, Faraday’s plan doesn’t exactly work under his initial theory that “whatever happens, happens,” but since the Losties currently are experiencing their present, they still have the power to change their future. It’s a pretty cool theory for sure, and it’s really the only way the writers could have gotten out of the hole they conceivably dug themselves into.

Now that Faraday’s dead, though, who will carry out the plan? Jack and Kate are probably stuck in Others territory, Sawyer and Juliet have been outed by Radzinsky, and Hurley and Miles are stuck in the middle of it all. Plus, with three more hours left to go, there’s still more than enough time for a couple of wild cards to be thrown into the mix – namely Locke, Sun and Ben, who will no doubt play a role in all of this before the season is over. Oh yeah, and there’s no way the Losties erase the past by blowing up the Swan. At least, not with an entire season still to go. Can this show really get any better? God I hope so.

  

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Lost 5.12 – Dead Is Dead

Ever since his introduction in Season Two, Ben Linus has fast become one of the most compelling characters on “Lost,” so it isn’t much of a surprise that tonight’s episode was one of the best of the year. While much of the allure of this season is due to the recent boost in science fiction-heavy fare like time travel, the last few weeks have really emphasized the strong relationships between the people on the island. And if we’ve learned anything, it’s that Ben has some of the most fascinating relationships of them all. Oh yeah, and Michael Emerson deserves an Emmy nomination.

Ben’s ongoing feud with Charles Widmore has made for some great moments in the past, but it was nice to finally see how that feud came to fruition. Both men have always been viewed as villains, but based on the flashbacks from tonight, it’s clear that Widmore is the worst of the two. He didn’t seem to have any logical reason for wanting Rousseau and her baby dead other than the fact that they were outsiders, but Ben’s decision to stand up to Widmore and protect baby Alex showed a side of him that we always knew was there but rarely saw. Of course, that was before Ben became the monster he is today, but it was apparently enough to prove to Richard that he was worthy of taking over leadership after Widmore was booted off the island for breaking the rules.

One of those rules was having a child with an outsider, and as we all know, that child grew up to be Penny. What we didn’t know, however, was what had come of Penny now that Ben had left the island. Many seemed to believe that his brutal beating was a result of killing Penny on her boat (after all, he made that call to Jack from a dock), but as it turns out, that wasn’t it at all. Well, not exactly, anyway. It turns out Ben did intend on killing Penny (he even shot Desmond in the shoulder for trying to interfere), but the minute he saw Penny’s son, he decided against it. Of course, that didn’t stop Desmond from beating him to a pulp, but like I said before, it just goes to show that Ben isn’t nearly as bad of a guy as people once believed him to be.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

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Lost 5.10 – He’s Our You

“A 12-year-old Ben Linus just brought me a chicken salad sandwich. How do you think I’m doing?”

It seems like forever since we’ve had a Sayid-centric story, so I was really excited to discover that tonight’s episode was all about everyone’s favorite Iraqi torture specialist. Unfortunately, for as many great lines as there were, it actually ended up being one of the flatter episodes of the season. That probably had something to do with the strange collection of flashbacks and flash forwards that accompanied the present day (or new present, anyway) storyline, because with the exception of Sayid’s introduction to Ilana – who doesn’t appear to be a federal marshal at all, but rather some sort of bounty hunter – we didn’t really learn anything new about the time between his rescue and return.

Even the action on the island was pretty dull. Well, not dull so much as just really thin. I mean, how many different times did we really need to see Sawyer trying to convince Sayid to cooperate with the Dharminians? And why didn’t Sayid want to take the easy way out by telling them that he was just trying to escape from the Others? I brought this up last week because it didn’t make any sense for Sayid to want to remain silent, and now it makes just as much sense after declining Sawyer’s offer to become one of them. If all he cared about was killing young Ben Linus, wouldn’t it have been easier to do so from within that circle of trust?

Apparently not, because Sayid didn’t budge one bit, and as a result, Horace took him to go see Oldham (William Sanderson of “Deadwood” fame) in order to get some answers. It was pretty obvious that Oldham was Dharma’s torture specialist the moment his name was brought up, but Sayid asked Sawyer who Oldham was nonetheless, to which Sawyer replied “He’s our you.” Now, if that didn’t send chills down your back, I don’t know what will, because that has to be one of the best episode titles in the history of the series; and even more so because of the way it was worked into the story. I would have liked to have found just what it was that Oldham stuck in Sayid’s mouth, though, because while it seemed to initially operate as a truth serum, the later effects made me think it was some kind of psychedelic drug instead. Whatever it was, it worked, but while it looked like Sayid would blow Sawyer’s cover by spilling the beans, the moment he mentioned he was from the past, Horace seemed unconvinced that the drug had worked.

After Dharma’s council votes to kill him, however, Sayid’s Christ-like sacrifice (which he seems to believe will atone for all his sins) is interrupted when he’s sprung from jail while everyone else is trying to deal with a flaming Dharma van that has randomly rolled into camp. (Even during times of stress, Sawyer’s wit is spot on: “Three years, no burning buses. You’re all back for one day…”). Curiously enough, it’s young Ben who’s responsible for saving Sayid, who does so under the condition that he can join him on his way back to the Others’ camp. I don’t know if that’s where Sayid plans to go (it seems to be his only option at this point), but he definitely doesn’t intend on bringing Ben with him. Granted, I didn’t expect Sayid to kill a child in cold blood, but then again, who’s to say Ben is really dead? Faraday has already stated that the past can’t be changed, so it’s probably more likely that Ben will be saved/revived by the Others and eventually made their leader. After all, Ben’s spinal condition had to be a result of something, so why not an old gunshot wound that he received as a kid?

  

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Lost 5.7 – The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

Forget what I said at the end of my last post, because despite what Jack, Kate and Hurley may think, the plane has indeed crashed on the island, and it’s taken almost no time for Caesar (Jack’s friend from the airport) and Ilana (the U.S. Marshall escorting Sayid) to assume leadership. Caesar has already begun scouring through a nearby cabin for any information he can find, but to no avail. Luckily, they just so happen to have a surprise visitor among their ranks: John Locke, back from the dead. Though he remembers dying, Locke doesn’t exactly know what he’s doing on the island, or more importantly, how he got there.

Interestingly, while Jack, Kate and Hurley disappeared when the plane passed through the bright light (AKA The Island Time Warp), Locke and Ben remained on the plane. We still don’t know what happened to Sayid and Sun, but I think it’s safe to say that they made the jump as well. This means that because Locke and Ben left the island by an alternate means, they’re being treated as newcomers, and have to re-enter the island as such. Now, the Oceanic Six are stuck in the past with the rest of the original survivors, while Locke and Ben are in the present. Of course, this is great news for the Newbies, because while they’re probably not too happy about crashing on an island where they’ll likely be stuck for the rest of their lives, at least they’ve got Locke there to explain what the hell is going. Whether or not they believe him is another thing.

Unfortunately, that’s all we got to see of Locke’s grand return in tonight’s episode, as most of the show was spent telling his post-island story. It’s really too bad, because after the discussion between him and Ilana on the beach, I was foaming at the mouth for more. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool to finally learn what really happened to Locke between the time he left the island and the time he was brought back, but it just felt like a whole lot of exposition with very little payoff. I mean, we already knew that he was going to visit everyone to try and persuade them to come back, and we already knew that they were all going to say no. Plus, his visit with Walt was really awkward – like the writers wanted to include the meeting between the two but didn’t have anything important for either one to say. It was a nice proper send off for Malcolm David Kelley, but that’s it.

There was one interesting thing about the episode, though, and that’s Charles Widmore coming to Locke’s aid in Tunisia. Up until now, no one’s really known whether Ben Linus is a good guy or a bad guy, but Widmore has always been pegged as a villain. (After all, he did send a freighter full of mercenaries to blow up the island.) Tonight’s show placed him in a completely different light, however, and after he explained to Locke his history with the island as a leader who was exiled by Ben, it’s hard to determine what’s really going on. Could Widmore be the good guy and Ben the villain? It’s certainly possible, though I wouldn’t rule out that they’re both just evil, evil men.

As for the latter, he’s certainly not helping his chances of redemption after shooting Abaddon and strangling Locke. The latter was probably the biggest surprise of the night, and not because I thought Locke would hang himself instead. I can’t imagine anyone killing themselves if they didn’t want to (especially someone like Locke), but why did Ben have such a sudden change of heart. One minute, he’s helping untie the noose around Locke’s neck, and the next, he’s turning an attempted suicide into a homicide dressed as a suicide. It clearly had something to do with Locke’s mention of Jin and Eloise (as it wasn’t until then that Ben started acting a little strange), but why? I’m not sure it really matters. Locke’s alive and he’s staring down at his killer like he’s about to open up a can of karmic whoopass, and quite frankly, that’s good enough for me.

  

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